The Most Splendid, Wondrous Gift of Agency

The Greatest Christmas Gift

The definition of agency is simply, the ability to do good. It is a fruit of the Lord’s atonement. There is nothing negative about it. Everyone has choice, even the adversary, for he chooses how to carry out his purposes. He wanted no agency, therefore he denied himself that privilege. He has placed himself in a position were he cannot, and will not do anything good. We all get what we want. Let us be better agents with our agency, to act, and not be acted upon.

Shane

Jesus Second coming

The Atonement and Fall: Part One

The Ultimate Prodigal

Adam and Eve were innocent before the Fall, in which they had choice, but not yet agency. For agency is the ability to do good, under the knowledge of good and evil. They used their choice to choose to be given agency, by succumbing to the Fall. But there also had to be an opposition to the Fall, for mankind to be given the opportunity to be reconciled with the Father. Only Jesus could do this. He is the perpetuation of the plan of God for man. It was God’s holy will to offer up His Son, to swallow up all sin via the bitter cup (literally). But he shrank not, and drank the utter dregs, finishing His preparations for man, as was His father’s will.

Before the Fall, in Adam and Eve’s innocents, they could do no good, for they knew no evil. They had only choice, but no knowledge of consequences, because they had no sin nor law given, only two commandments. To not partake of the fruit, and to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth – to have children.

God’s plan for the fall to take place, was one in which the atonement was also already in place. It worked in an eternal since, in which it would cover all of mankind, both before and beyond it actually taking place. God could not create Adam and Eve in a fallen state, because they had to be given life, and then commandments given, to then choose for themselves the partaking of The Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This way God could place them in a new world, without causing or creating sin, for God is not able to sin, as is Satan not capable of doing good.  For there must needs be an opposition in all things, thus the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as opposition for mankind, and Satan to God. 

See 2 Nephi 2:11 below.

11 It must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. (2 Nephi 2:11)

After Eve chose to trust in her feelings, and believe that they needed to understand the difference between good and evil, and Adam understanding the Father, without fully understanding the import of their decision’s outcome, they both partook. 

God knew that they would eventually come to the point where they would realize they needed something more to help them grow, in which they would choose to partake, and need the Lord’s saving atonement, for it is not just that we repent to become like Jesus, but it is in the actual repentance process itself, that we become like Him. This is one reason we needed earth life and the fall in the first place, and why a redeemer was chosen and prepared from before the foundations of the earth.

The Fall, or Adam’s transgression, is a spiritual death, because Adam and Eve were separated from the presence of God and given agency to act for themselves and not to be acted upon. See 2 Nephi 2:26

They were also given the great power of procreation, so that they could keep the commandment to multiply, and replenish the earth and have joy in their posterity. See Genesis 1:28

In this new and fallen state, they experienced a bodily change as well, to be able to have children. This is necessary because God gave them the commandment to multiply, and He always provides a way to obey Him.

If it were possible for them to have had children before the Fall, God would have had no purpose in the Earth. For in our mortal test period of probation, we needed death in both the separation from God spiritually, as well as our physical death, for us to be tried. Then after death, to be brought before God to be judged in our resurrected bodies, to move forward to progress onward to become like Him. The atonement and fall provide for this purpose. This is one reason why the resurrection is so important.

 We need to be tried, reproved and repent, in order to grow up to become like Him, even as a child can grow up to be like their parents. God had to create Adam and Eve in innocence, and give them the commandments He did, for God is a God of righteousness, and cannot create a state of sin or Fall.

It is an eternal principle that to everything good there is a little bad, and to everything bad there is a little good. This is why out of all the trees in the garden of Eden (Eden being our Earth’s real mortal name), there was only one poisoned tree, which was a fig tree, a tree originally created by Christ Jesus, but then later wrought upon by the evil influences of Lucifer and his devils, to become unhealthy and poisonous for mankind. Thus the Father commanded them not to partake of it, knowing that they would.

  • The principle of perfection

Because it is not within Heavenly Father’s nature to do or introduce error, He had to say to them, do not eat, or you shall surely die, all of which is true. Yet, He also wanted us to have children an become like Him. In so doing, Adam and Eve would have to make their own choice to partake. In this we would have to walk where God has walked, do as He has done, and follow the course He has followed. Therefore, we needed the fall, and a redeemer. Praise be to Adam and Eve for taking the courageous leap of faith and trust, to make the choice to partake.

See Teachings of the Presidents of the Church- Joseph Smith, pg 41 below.

God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make Himself visible,—I say, if you were to see Him today, you would see Him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man. (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church – Joseph Smith, pg 41)

Everything has purpose and meaning, and God is over all His children. Now, speaking of God’s plan, the adversary is very much a part of it. We need opposition to permit, or rather give us permission to learn and grow. This need is stated in the earlier mentioned scripture in 2 Nephi 2:11, that there must be an opposition in all things.

Because the Lord took on all sins, and the source from which they spring, He also takes the ones from which they spring. Yes, somewhere, sometime, in the great eons of the eternal lives and onward, the ultimate prodigal son, will, having been burned and purged clean in the lake of fire and brimstone in outer darkness, finally come to himself, and begin his long arduous trek home. For God is a perfect God, with perfect love, and a perfect plan, and He will not lose any of His children.

So, is there hope for the rest of us? Definitely!

Shane

Relationships – We Can Change People: Part Two

Our Actions Do Influence Others

In every exchange, whether passing by someone and making eye contact, or having a good common discussion with someone, we effect each other. A person who is an agent of light, love and Spirit, will make a good change. No matter how small or big, their exchanges in light, will always extinguish dark.

This is why we must act as righteous individuals, and not be acted upon. However, for an unrepentant, darkened individual, unwilling to follow the light, who chooses to be dark in spite of a righteous exchange with someone, they will in essence harden their hearts more, and become even worse than they were before.

Every action has an equal and opposite action or reaction, meaning that we can react negatively to a negative action, or we can act positively to a negative action. The same would hold true for the opposite.

We can act positively, and have a positive outcome on someone who is negative, even if we can’t see it, or notice the change from our exchange.

We must seek the Spirit in all we do, and listen to and obey His promptings early. In this knowledge we can effectively and joyfully be successful member missionaries, and effective in all we do in life.

Shane

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